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FRI 23RD AUGUST
DRESSED TO KILL (KISS TRIBUTE SHOW)
DOORS – 19:30
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“A drummer ‘willing to do anything to make it” is snapped up by a rhythm guitarist/bassist duo. Soon after, a lead guitarist answers an ad by the then trio”. Now this might sound to most Kiss fans exactly how Kiss formed, but this particular story wasn’t set in New York in 1973, it was early 1990 and in England, and exactly how ‘Dressed To Kill’, the Kiss tribute band, was formed.
Formed by Ashley Brookes & Gary Piears-Banton, their debut was on October 30th 1991 at Crystals Nightclub, Loughborough, and was well documented by ‘Kerrang!’ magazine who dedicated three full pages of colour pictures and a full review by Ray Zell. This unprecedented coverage for a first concert paved the way for what was shortly to follow – a support slot to Tigertailz.
Shows followed at the Marquee, London – featured both in ‘Kerrang!’ and ‘Raw’ magazines & their first Kiss Convention appearance at the Astoria Theatre, London, where they played to 1,500 Kiss fans. Not only was this a prestigious event for them to play, but they also met Kiss themselves & were interviewed for 20 minutes by MTV for a Headbangers Ball Kiss Special. This heightened profile secured a string of shows later in the year & put them back in ‘Kerrang!’ in Feb 1993.
Interest began to filter through from mainland Europe resulting in four shows in Austria: Amstetten, Vienna, Somerarena & Vienna Rock Inn for Polygram’s Kiss video release party and finally a major festival in Steiermark. After more UK shows they made their second successful Kiss convention appearance at The Rocking Chair in Vevey, Switzerland.
A return to the Marquee in 1994 followed along with their Scandinavian debut at the Magasinet, Gothenburg, Sweden, before a packed 600+ crowd with a further 100+ having to listen from outside!
Perhaps a very significant moment in the bands’ career to this point was the London Kiss Convention at the Astoria II (3/9/94) where the ‘Catman’ himself – original KISS drummer ‘Peter Criss’, joined them onstage to play ‘Strutter’, ‘Deuce’ and ‘Firehouse’. Again reviewed by ‘Kerrang!’
October 1994 found the band again returning to Sweden (with much media coverage) to play two shows in Gothenburg one in Helsingborg & one particularly incredible performance at the 2,000+ capacity Centrum in Oslo, Norway.
A return visit to Switzerland and a debut performance in Germany mid 1995 where the special guest in Switzerland was original Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley. This was followed by another return visit to Austria to play at the famed ‘Heavy Xmas’ show at Vienna Rockhaus.
April 20th 1996 saw their third successful British Kiss Convention appearance in front of 400+ Kiss fans, this time at the Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall.
In June 1996 DTK completed an extremely successful two week tour of Japan with the ‘cream of the tribute bands’: The Bootleg Beatles, The Counterfeit Stones, The Royal Family (Queen) and T-Rextasy. Dressed To Kill played to more than 10,000 people over seven shows (Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Tokyo, Sendai and Niigata), held a packed press conference, made a large number of personal appearances and conducted many TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. Japans’ largest TV station NHK filmed the show at the Tokyo Ariake Coliseum and screened it on August 2nd (transmitted to Europe via Satellite). At around the same time Dressed To Kill also had the track ‘C’mon And Love Me’ included on the Kiss Tribute CD “Kissin’ Time” which was released worldwide.
Their seventh UK KISS Convention (now called UK KISS Expo) appearance also featured ex-KISS guitarist ‘Mark St
John’ who joined them onstage for a rousing rendition of ‘Heavens On Fire’!
Summer 2004 saw Dressed To Kill visiting Spain for two successful shows in Madrid & Barcelona as well as filling the prestigious ‘Special Guest’ slot at the huge ‘Rock Me Laa’ Festival in Austria. All this in addition to further UK touring! November 2004 saw two huge triumphs in the career of Dressed To Kill. Firstly, they were invited to perform a very special ‘private’ concert for Gene Simmons himself and selected pupils at Christ’s Hospital School in Horsham. This was filmed as part of the new Channel 4 series ‘Rock School’ (later to be broadcast worldwide in Autumn 2005). Secondly, Dressed To Kill headlined the UK KISS Expo for the eighth (!) time, this time being joined onstage for four KISS classics by ex-KISS guitarist ‘Bruce Kulick’.
In 1995 DTK made their ninth UK KISS Expo appearance, this time with current KISS drummer ‘Eric Singer’ joining them live onstage & the following year they made their 10th UK Expo appearance this time with Special Guest ‘Bill Aucoin’ (ex-KISS Manager) who enjo yed the show so much that he rang KISS’ Paul Stanley immediately after the show to rave about their performance!! The band also enjoyed two amazing ‘live reviews’ in the Music Press….. garnering a 10/10 in ‘Powerplay’ and 4K’s in Kerrang!
In January 2007 Dressed To Kill were asked to appear in ‘Gene Simmons’ new worldwide TV hit ‘Gene Simmons Family Jewels’. The filming took place in London over a two day period, the fruits of which will be seen on TV late in 2007. Weeks later but fifteen years to the day since Dressed To Kill first supported ‘Tigertailz’ they were again asked to join the ‘Tailz’ onstage, this time at the prestigious ‘St Davids Hall’ in Cardiff.
In the past decade DTK have enjoyed further returns to Sweden, Norway and constantly sold out UK shows, tv appearances and rave reviews in magazines across the world. They are THE benchmark every KISS tribute sets their standards to and now well into their 28th year, DTK are still regarded by their peers as the hardest working trubte band ever.
Rest on their laurels ? Not a chance !!! The future is definitely looking exciting for Dressed To Kill.